Thomas J. Petersen

East Lyme - Thomas J. Petersen, 77, of Niantic, left this world on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, to be with his one true love of 52 years, his late wife Patricia (Salisbury) Petersen.

Born on Sept. 16, 1935, in Buffalo, N.Y., he was the son of the late Edwin and Elizabeth (O'Neill) Petersen. Thomas was a proud U.S. Air Force veteran serving in Southeast Asia working on airplane engines during the Vietnam War. After retiring from the Air Force in 1972, Thomas was employed as a machinist at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Middletown for 25 years.

Thomas was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved to spend time with his grandchildren, whether cheering them on at a sporting event, or helping them with their cars in his driveway. He enjoyed fishing and loved riding around on his John Deere tractor.

He will be dearly missed by his daughters, Kimberly Kendzior and her husband, James, of East Hampton and Lauren McKenna of Waterford; three grandsons, William R. Lamphere IV of Vernon, TJ McKenna and his wife, Stephanie, of Ellington, and James Lamphere of Norwich; his grandaughter, Amanda McKenna of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and his two cherished great-grandchildren, Andrew and Haven Lamphere of Vernon.

Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, 2013, at Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic. Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to the .

Online condolences may be expressed at

Funeral Home

Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home
48 Grand St Niantic, CT 06357
(860) 739-6112

Published in The Day on July 7, 2013